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The collaboration experiment Answered

For my, or should I say our next Instructable I want to do a little experiment. The goal is to make a colaborated Instructable with the following rules in place:
  1. We each do a single step in the Instructable (excluding the materials step).
  2. Materials needed for each single step cost less then € 10 / $ 10.
  3. Tools needed for each step should be in most peoples shed (or their neighbours shed), you get the point: no big cnc'ing, lasercutting, wood milling, ... 
  4. Quality of step description, photo-work, ... should be feature worthy. 
  5. You get 1 week for each step, allowing for some trial and error, time for personal life, ... If technical constraints require more time, exceptions are possible after clear communication. 
The concept is to do both the build, and collaborate further on the previous step, back and forth. No communication about the end goal. The project can go in all directions. Iterations continue until we both think that the end point is reached. At that point the Ible will be finished, an introduction and conclusions written and published.  

I'm open for suggestions on improving the rules of the collaboration experiment, but I'm very keen on trying out this kind of experiment. I am only able to do one experiment at a time in this point in time. So if multiple people are interested, I suggest we make multiple couples and see where we go from there. 

Who is willing to commit to this kind of experiment across time-zones, boundaries, crafts and expertises? It will be a challenge to get out of your comfort zone, explore new techniques and who knows what else?

On spot left to join the experiment, please fill in this registration form. 5 of us already started the discussion on the rules and timing. The general concept is to start November 1th and finish by December 20th, in time for winter holidays.



2 years ago

The experiment has started. 5 of us are making two Ibles. The results of the experiment are expected just before the 25th of December.

Sounds like a fun idea. Keep everyone posted on how it goes...

that is the disadvantage of having a username starting with one of the first letters from the alphabet. Good luck and enjoy the experiment!

How did this turn out? I'm very curious. Sounds like a great idea.

it ended a bit early due to the birth of my second son. Time constraints changed and I was not able to finish the project. Too bad :-(

It's all good. Congrats on the birth of your son. If you think about starting something like this up again, I am very interested.



2 years ago

The experiment was on hold due to the addition of a new member to our family. I slowly started thinkering again, so I hope to get the experiment back on it tracks. Stay tuned.

So let me see if I've got this right. The project begins with the first person just starting with whatever idea he/she has, then the next person looks at what has been done and takes it a bit further. And this all done with no idea of what the completed project will be? Will it be a combination of electronics, crafts, etc? I'm just curious. And good luck to the participants!


2 years ago

looking for one last minute entry, that would make 6 participants and thus an even number to make teams. Who else wants to join?

Definitely like the idea! - you've set the deadline for filling in the form on this Sunday, any idea when you'd want to start the project?

After we agree on the teams (it looks like we are a bit too many for one team) I suggest we discuss the rules for one week, make them crisp and clear and then start, so that makes November 1th as a starting date.

Unfortunately I won't be able to participate then (there's this thing called school) , but I can't wait to see the final result : )

You are so going down!

What's that? . . this is a collaboration? Hmm.

Well then, GO TEAM!

I will do your step so hard, then add on to it in a constructive and collaborative way!

Ha! :)

Pretty cool idea though, huh?

Major kudos to thijsv for the ambitious idea.

Really excited to see how this all turns out!

Really excited as well. Love the enthousiasm already!

just completed the form! looking forward to seeing who is going to be on my team!

lets get this straight someone has a wood board and screws something into it then another person copies that and adds something onto that and on and on and on correct?

That's the idea. Anything is possible, you can add stuff under the board as well, or even adjust what's already there as a step, or ... Let us try to merge styles and skills.

Because the project has to evolve to an end point I suggest some iterations and thus small teams (otherwise it would take ages before it's your turn again).

I had no idea that was a real thing, with an actual name!

My siblings and I spent hours doing those when we were kids, and now my own kids do too. Good to know!!

Great reference! Experiment will be something like that, however, you do need to know the previous steps here to go along.


2 years ago

Good to see that at the moment we have some interested people. I'm closing the call this Sunday (October 25th).

With the interested people we will first refine the rules (great suggestions are already given by Seamster for example) and then kick off the experiment. To make it a little bit easier to see who's interested I created a form to fill in.

Instructables collaboration experiment subscription form

Are you planning on mailing items around the world/country, collaborating only with locals, or having everybody involved follow the steps of the others?

To answer your 3 questions:

The most practical thing would be that the other collaborator involved follows the steps of the other one, which would also make a nice test to see if the Ible is clear enough.

Shipping one project around would be cool, but rather costly.

I think the magic of the experiment lies in the idea that you are collaborating with somebody on the other side of the world, which is possible through the website and not just with others at your local makerspace.

I like the idea!

So each person would need to build/make the same thing up to the existing step, and then create an additional step when it's their turn...?

It would need to be done chronologically then.

But if I were, say, step 9 in the process, I could build along with others as they complete their steps, and then when it's my turn I'd push the project further . . .

Hmm. I'm thinking there would need to be a lot of flexibility to account for people's different tools and materials, but that would lend to some fun creative adaptations to the "design in progress."

I'm intrigued and curious how it would/could all play out.

Count me in!

It might be a fun element to try to include things that others may find challenging to replicate, just to see how they creatively adapt . . .